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Meaning of stare decisis

sta•re de•ci•sis

Pronunciation: (stâr'ē di-sī'sis), [key]
— Law. Law.
  1. the doctrine that rules or principles of law on which a court rested a previous decision are authoritative in all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.